frieze at the Prince Street subway station celebrates the individuality of New Yorkers. Spanning the 1200 foot
length of the two platforms, it depicts 194 silhouetted people
and the many things they carry as they walk along the street above
the station. The figures are taken from photographs of New Yorkers
in all their variety. The collection of figures
as a whole conveys the range of New York's distinctive population.
In collaboration with Edward del Rosario.
at the Prince St. subway station, New
Commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit.
1200', waterjet-cut steel, marble, and slate.
figures are arranged as a 1200 foot narrative that contains smaller
dramatic narratives within it. As the figures reach the intersection
of Broadway and Prince Street, the ground line they walk on descends
into the station via two staircases to an image of the very platform
where the viewers of the frieze are standing.
To make the frieze, more than two thousand New Yorkers were photographed
walking along the street carrying everything from a sofa to a
cello to the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag; collecting the garbage
to walking their dogs. From those, 194 were selected as the most evocative. In order to develop the overall
visual rhythm and small interactions among the figures, a linear
composition was designed both in the computer and on site.
the installation, some of the existing white subway tiles were
removed and replaced with new identical tiles that had been cut
out in the shape of the figures and the things they carry, in
precise detail. Corresponding stainless steel, marble, and slate
shapes were placed in those spaces like puzzle pieces, making
it appear that the figures are embedded in the walls.
title, Carrying On, is a triple pun. People on the streets
of New York are almost always carrying something, sometimes something
huge and outlandish. After the 9/11 tragedy in New York, New Yorkers
felt that they must carry on with their lives. (The frieze was
begun just before 9/11 and finished three years later.)
Finally, New Yorkers are notoriously opinionated and lively; they
really do "carry on."
project managers: Kendal Henry and Erica Behrens
waterjet cutting: Surbeck Waterjet Company
installation: Miotto Mosaics
design and production assistance: Natalia Porter
to Public Art